2013. Out.

*Disclaimer: This post got unintentionally long-winded. It started out with me sitting down to write out my list of favorite moments from the past year and somehow inexplicably took a strange and 180° turn right out of the gate. I blame the fact that I’ve just spent 24 hours looking through photos from the past year and saying, over and over, “That seems like yesterday!” If you’re short on time, you can take a pass and just skip to the end for a fantastic YouTube video of my most favorite moment of 2013 and no one will ever know…or you can stick around and read why it’s possible I should’ve been on Prozac and/or Xanax since the age of five*

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve. Sunday I gave you three reasons why I feel that way. But if I’m being honest, it’s not just the forced celebrations of the final hours of December 31st that I don’t like; I’m just really not a fan of the entire “new year” concept and all that it brings with it. I mean, I get it. I get the fact that for most people the idea of a ‘new year’ brings with it a multitude of possibilities; new adventures and experiences just waiting to be had — and if the previous year was particularly sh*tty the new year often brings hope and a chance to start anew and make different choices. I get it.

But I still don’t like it.

I’d say it was because my girls are getting older (and by default, I am as well) and every year that passes leads me closer to the inevitable day when one of them (and then both of them) will fly the nest and that the (at one time) seemingly endless days and years of all of us living under one roof are growing terrifyingly close to being just a memory. And listen, I know that that will bring with it a whole new set of memories and experiences and that it is what is meant to happen and blah blah blah I’ve heard it all and know it all. But tonight when that 3 changes to a 4 and my 18 year old is rejoicing that her graduation year is finally here, the reality of it will hit me with full force, I fear. But even so, I really can’t blame aging (mine or my girls’s) or the mixed and bittersweet emotions of it being the year when I’ll send my baby off to the real world for my aversion to New Year’s. No, I’ve always — always — felt this way.

I can actually remember New Year’s Eve 1974 (I would’ve been five years old) and my mother explaining what New Years was all about. I remember being horrified and actually saying, “But you mean it won’t ever, ever be 1974 again?” When she gently told me that no, it would be a new year and that 1974 would just be in our memories, I started to cry. Five years old. Mourning the passing of time. (And I wonder why my younger daughter hates change and has a hard time with endings…and why my mother didn’t start me on Xanax right then.)

From the time  I was 11 until I was 15 years old my best friend and I had a mutual hatred of New Year’s Eve and all that it implied. We’d lie on my bedroom floor the week after Christmas and talk about all the things from the past year that were now so suddenly over and how we really hoped nothing terrible happened to us over the next 12 months. We looked ahead at the new year with fear and trepidation instead of the endless array of possibilities that you’d expect most kids of 12 to be thinking about. Despite what it sounds like, we really were pleasant, generally happy kids whose parents shouldn’t be criticized for ignoring our obvious possible need for therapy. (Shut up, we were.)

If you know me off the screen, or even if you’ve gotten to know me from reading me on the screen, I think it might be surprising to find out that I’m not always a ‘glass half full’ kinda gal. Sure, I spend a good chunk of my waking hours being sunny and trying my best to find the good and the humor in most situations, but there are a few things (very few, but still) that just seem to get me down (I wouldn’t be human if there weren’t). And strangely enough, New Years is one of those things. At the risk of making me sound horrible and pessimistic (which is a quality I abhor), it is. It’s the passing of time — so quickly lately — that gets to me. And I know. I know I can’t stop it. And I know that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know I should be celebrating all the memories and looking forward to the new ones. And I honestly do (celebrate and look forward). But for just a moment or two, I give myself permission to be glum about it before shoving all those feelings back into the “things to not think about” file drawer in my brain.

And then. Then I pour myself a drink make a list. A list of favorites (it’s what I do). Does it help me turn my frown upside down and jump on the New Year! New Life! bandwagon?  Not really. But it does make me take stock of what I’ve done; what I’ve accomplished in the past 12 months. Ironically enough, the list was one of the things that motivated me to start writing two years ago. I didn’t start writing this blog until March of 2012, but it was New Years that year and all that it brought with it (see above) that made me take stock of what I was doing with my life — how I was spending my days which were quickly turning into years and years and years — that motivated me to start doing something. And after looking at this year’s list, I have to say, I’m pretty happy I did.

So here’s my list (finally). My personal list of favorite moments and accomplishments from 2013, and (of course) my list of favorite moments in pop culture. It wouldn’t be a favorites’ list without those, and besides, if you’re still reading you probably need a palate cleanser by the end here. I don’t know about you, but I already feel better.

Favorite Personal Moments:

★ When 2013 began, I had a definite goal in my writing: To get published on at least one site other than my blog.
Mission (more than) accomplished.

~ In 2013 I was published on In The Powder Room, Mamapedia, was a contributing writer for MamaPop (which is a site that is sadly, very sadly, no longer live), and (most exciting of all and a lifetime event I really didn’t ever see coming) had an essay published in the best-selling book, I Just Want To Pee Alone. Through my connections with these sites and especially through the book, I’ve met and made some of the best and most hilarious people who I’m happy to call my (virtual) friends. It’s hard to imagine that one year ago I didn’t know them. And with the book came my first ever book signing, which was a huge highlight of my year. Fingers crossed there’ll be more of those!

~ My blog gained many readers, and my blog’s Facebook page grew exponentially.

~ Although I still suck at Twitter I somehow became a nationally recognized tweeter (at least according to my husband), catching the attention of Kris Kardashian who featured one of my (few) tweets on her (now defunct) talk show. Start the clock ticking on my 15 minutes…

★ In June, I celebrated 20 years of marriage to my college sweetheart, and after all these years I still like him. Thankfully.
I wrote about the 20 things I’ve learned in 20 years of marriage (of course I did). People found #13 to be especially helpful.

★ A few months ago Thing 1 got accepted into her top college choice (for next year) and is ecstatic (as are we). She actually got accepted from 5 of the 6 colleges she applied to (and #6 didn’t reject her…just deferred her). Proud, proud mama…and happy, happy mama that she’ll be at a place she loves and is excited to be.

★ Both girls had shining moments on stage this year. My heart bursts with love and pride when I see them so naturally doing what makes them the happiest.

★ One of the most fun (and challenging) things I did this year (and one of the most telling of the excitement barometer of my life)? I recapped The Bachelorette. Every week. It took a lot of time, but it was a labor of love and I was encouraged and motivated by all the wonderfully supportive responses I got from my readers. If you missed any, you can find them all right here.

Favorite moments in pop-culture: 

★ The birth of Prince George. That whole day cracked me up, though, when I imagined how labor and life as a royal parent differed from “normal” parenting.  So I wrote about it (of course I did).

★ Kelly Clarkson getting married (and looking like this) and getting ready to have a baby.
KC’s a big favorite in this house.

★ Reese Witherspoon’s “Don’t you know who I am?” tirade when she got arrested. I hate the reason for it, but man was it shocking…and funny as hell.

All things Jennifer Lawrence, but especially these two moments:

Because that ridiculous outfit deserved a photo bomb

Brooks leaving Des heartbroken but she got over it in two days and got engaged to Chris.

Fabulous on so, so many levels

★ Justin Timberlake’s performance at the VMA’s…or just JT in general (always).

★ Britney’s big comeback. Say what you will about her, I don’t think many of us would’ve predicted this a few years ago.

★ Simon Cowell becoming a father and doing a 180 and embracing it. I loved him for an entirely new reason this year.

★ Ben Affleck’s Oscar acceptance speech for Argo: “It doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life…cause that’s gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up.” 

★ This. One of the best things I’ve ever seen — and a big reason why I’m proud my kids are ‘theatre kids’.  {And if you’re reading on an iPad and can’t see the YouTube videos I embed, it’s the opening from this year’s Tony Awards. Google it if you can’t or haven’t seen it. Trust me.}

 



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  • Amy Flory - NPH rocks my world, and that clip was incredible. Now I want to go see all of the shows! I’m so glad your year was wonderful. You and your lovely family deserve nothing but the best, and I am thankful we will forever share the pages of a book together. Let’s do it again in 2014!ReplyCancel

  • Teri Biebel - Virtual friends until we can meet IRL. Loved being a part of the Pee book with you!!! Cheers and Happy New Year, my friend!ReplyCancel

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